Local officials watching the White River closely - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Local officials watching the White River closely

AUGUSTA, AR (KAIT) - The power of water is under-estimated.

In 2011, Arkansas had the most flash flood-related deaths in the country.

18 lives were lost last year, with four of them right here in Region 8.

So, it's only fitting that we're in the midst of Flash Flood Awareness Week.

Jackson, Woodruff, and White Counties are under a Flood Warning for the next 12 hours, until the White River recedes from minor flood stage.

The water would have to rise almost ten feet before any real issues develop.

Just last year, this gentle giant climbed to it's second highest mark ever recorded.

Augusta Mayor Rocky Tidwell remembers last year's high water mark and is on the front lines, keeping a close eye on his hometown as the white river creeps higher.

"It's not even close to like what it was last year. It's a pretty normal, I think, a pretty normal spring so far. We're supposed to crest at 29 feet in a couple days and we're at 27, 28 now almost."

City workers are still in the process of condemning and demolishing houses along the White River.

Last year's floodwaters rose nearly four feet high in the houses too close to the river.

"Up north of town, we had a place on Highway 33 that got bad, which was part of the flood plain. Then far south of town, it did the same thing."

Mayor Tidwell is working closely with the county and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build up the banks along the white river, but not much can be done about the Cache River.

"They can pull the plug up there at those dams and shut this down. When they've got some room, they can hold some water. Cache river, it has no control."

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